oPt

FPWS: Israel killed five workers, arrested 2,444 others in three months

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GAZA, Palestine, June 30, 2005 (IPC) - - A recent report on the Israeli violations against Palestinian workers revealed that Israeli forces had killed five workers, arrested 2444 and wounded three others during the past three months.

The report, prepared by the Federation for Palestinian Workers' Syndicates (FPWS), said that Israeli occupation authorities have exercised a systematic policy of humiliation, abuse and assault on Palestinian workers, not to mention the continuous closure of border crossings and sieges, which has had a detrimental effect on the workers' class in the Palestinian society.

FPWS asserted that between April 1 and June 30, 2005 Israeli forces killed five workers and wounded three others - some due to the crowdedness at the border crossings while others by direct and cold-blooded shooting by Israeli soldiers.

The report added that during the second quarter of 2005 the occupied Palestinian territories witnessed a wide and fierce arrest campaign against Palestinian workers, under the pretext of not having permits to work inside Israel, and that in April, Israeli soldiers arrested 119 workers and forced them to sign a waiver not to enter Israel until they obtain a working permit.

As for the closure policy, the report explained that the frequent lockdown of the Palestinian territories have deprived thousands of workers of working inside Israel, noting that in May Israeli forces closed the Erez checkpoint, north of Gaza Strip, during the Jewish holidays without setting a date to open it, causing 5000 workers who obtained permits to wait for the checkpoint to open.

Also, Israeli forces also decided to close the Erez industrial zone, north of Gaza Strip, and move all the factories inside Israel, effectively rendering 4500 additional workers unemployed and without any kind of compensation.

Israeli forces also exercised racial discrimination against Palestinian workers, by forcing Palestinians working inside illegal Israeli settlements to wear an orange piece of cloth on their arms to distinguish them from other workers, which contradicts the anti-discrimination treaty of 1973.

The report concluded that the violations against the workers' sector is part of the pre-orchestrated Israeli policy of destroying the Palestinian society, and amounts to collective punishment, which is prohibited by international humanitarian law.